Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here Come's 2009!

I'm back at work for 2.5 days before some more time off. I actually only have New Year's off, but who is really going to come in on Friday and how much work could possibly get done? Anyways, we are headed to Florida so I won't be anywhere near the office. I'm flying down tomorrow afternoon and Marty is driving down in the morning. If he doesn't drive like a grandpa and doesn't stop too much he will be arriving at the Orlando airport right in time to pick me up. The one way ticket to Orlando was pretty cheap and this way I don't have to burn too much vacation time. I'll drive back up with him on Sunday.
The big catalyst for us going down there was our friend Dan having a New Year's Eve party, and we haven't been to Orlando in over a year now so it's time to see our friend's and family there. Dan always throws great parties - in the past he had a very fun pimps n' ho's party and a homecoming (Marty and I were voted king and queen, awww, but I think that had more to do with the fact we were checking out a couple of weeks later and we got the 'going away and maybe never see them again vote').

In other news, I moved up to medium on guitar hero over the holiday. I only play when I'm up in Virginia, so I think I'm doing pretty good. I'm definitely glad we don't have one or I would never get anything done. Here's a picture of me and my niece playing - she's almost 4. They have a 'beginner' level on the World Tour where you only have to strum - she rocks! And she'll tell you that, too :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

O Christmas Tree!

Marty and I didn't have a Christmas tree and had big plans to buy a good one after Christmas so we could get a deal. We struck out today though, hitting two different Lowes, a Home Depot and a Target with NOTHING left. Bummer...until I went to Kroger to get some groceries and there it was! A 7.5 foot with lights for 50% off! Who would've thought Kroger?! We may be the only people in the world who just put up our Christmas tree. Ta da!

Christmas Catchup

We had a nice time celebrating with my family in Virginia over the past few days. Marty and I managed to get in two runs while we there - to try and balance out all the eating we did. We ran on the Virginia Beach boardwalk on Christmas morning and I was able to sniff out some trails for us the next day (trails are hard to come by up there). Yesterday we bummed around after driving home and then watched FSU slaughter Wisconsin in their bowl game. And today we got in a nice 2 hr ride in short sleeves. Every warm day in the winter just means one less cold one, right?

After our healthy ride, we decided to head to a local pizza place (Brooklyn Brothers) where we stuffed ourselves with garlic knots and sausage pizza. They have a couple of tables outside so we decided to take Tassie with us since she loves going with us anywhere. I tied her to my chair and watched her shiver, shake and keep her tail between her legs the entire time. I guess Chair-Gate 08 really left an impression on her - it was pitiful and although we thought we should make her stay the course so she could get past her demons, we caved pretty quickly and put her back in the car (where she proceeded to fall asleep).

Anyways, here are a few pictures from the holidays.
That's me in between my two sisters, my mom, and my two nieces.

The Gaal's (Tassie is a very sloppy-sitter)

And this is what she looked like Christmas morning after playing and rolling around in the mud.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Warm Christmas!

We're back in Virginia to celebrate Christmas with my family (mom flew up, Shana, me and Marty drove from NC) and Heather/Sean and cute nieces are all here! This is the 3rd Christmas we've celebrated up here - all previous have been in Florida where I swear every year it hit 80 degrees. Well, we're almost there now! Not quite, but I am in a short sleeve t-shirt -- love it :)

I got through a head/chest cold rather quickly the past two days. I'm feeling great right now, but there were about 18 hours in there where I was not so great. I have a little raspy voice and a bit of a leftover cough, but all in all, I will take a cold like this over any other! Marty is about a day behind me, but he is feeling good again. We had a fun Master's swim this morning (the 8 days of Christmas set - we only had an hour this morning so couldn't fit in all 12). I thought the turnout would be low, but with some visiting Master's swimmers and people who were staying in town for the holidays we had a good group.

I hope you all have been nice this year and get all sorts of goodies tomorrow morning!

Friday, December 19, 2008

You know it's time for some new suits when...

I typically wear the same suit every morning at practice. A navy blue speedo endurance with light blue piping. I am such a fasion-ista, I said piping. Anyways, this suit is awesome because chlorine is nothing to it – it has lasted forever…it might be going on a year by now and there aren’t any signs of wear. The only thing I don’t like about it is it will occasionally chafe me under my arm. I actually have a faint scar from all the times I have just swum through it. This only seems to happen when it’s very cold and dry outside – the WORST times of the year in my opinion. Again, anyways these suits are expensive but we get a sweet discount at Inside Out and it is SO worth the money since it lasts so long. But this morning I realized I may need to switch up the wardrobe a bit.

I do have another suit – it’s purple and swirly and is nice, I don’t actually know why I don’t wear it more often but this morning I put it on and no less than TWO guys at master’s commented about my new suit. Hello! GUYS!!! And that’s not even counting Marty who said something immediately to me PRE-COFFEE!!! If those aren’t glaring red flags that I need to wear a bit more suits I don’t know what else is. I do have one splish that ‘the nicest lady in the world’ sent to me, but I have yet to wear it to Master’s practice, although I’m sure everyone would get a good laugh out of it (it’s the ‘Who Rocks? I Rock’ swimsuit). That one has only been reserved for times when I know the pool was empty ;)

We’re driving up to Va this afternoon; Dad’s flying up to my sister’s house to do a bit of pre-Christmas celebrating. Then we’re back in NC for a few days before going BACK up there on Christmas eve for a couple of more days. I’m really looking forward to spending time with my family – never a dull moment, that’s for sure ;)

Dan told me today that I looked like a real swimmer in the water. He hadn’t swum with us in awhile and this is a huge compliment! I swam my next interval extra fast still beaming about it. Then I pooped out and was happy we only had one more to go!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dreaming of 2006

3 years ago we were busy packing up our life in Orlando and heading for parts unknown throughout the world. I find myself daydreaming of that time right now.

Instead, this is what I may end up doing:

Christmas vacation is just around the corner...thank goodness!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Catching Up

I made all the morning Master's practice for the past two weeks! This is a huge deal to me, and if I go back another week I've actually made the past 8 in a row. I know that for a lot of you missing workouts just isn't an option, but sometimes the early morning can be hard for me. I don't always sleep very well (more like I have A LOT of trouble falling asleep) so if I know I'm going to get only 5 hours, I just can't get in the workout and be productive at work. Many people survive off of 5-6 hours, but I'm just not one of them. Luckily, with a little help recently I've been falling asleep better. Not always great and sometimes I still have bad nights, but better than the recent past. It's still only 3 mornings a week, but I have never been that consistent with my swimming. I'm really enjoying it, though.

Last night we went to a Christmas party hosted by Nas - you couldn't swing a small stick without hitting a triathlete, haha. It was fun to catch up with a lot of people and to meet some new ones. We played a white elephant gift exchange and I had no less than 5 great gifts stolen from me!

And this morning Marty ran in a Jingle Bell run at Bond Park. I was going to run it, but decided I didn't want to spend the $25 to just run for fun. So Tassie and I cheered everyone on again - we're getting quite good at this, but it's definitely not something I want to continue doing! The morning was sunny and crisp and while I was waiting for the runners to come out of the woods, standing on a hill, watching kids bundled up in scarfs and mittens roll down the hill, dogs and parents milling around, I just absolutely felt so much goodness and was so happy to be right there at that exact moment.

It might also have been Journey song playing in the background: "Don't stop....believin'!"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Update and Stuff

We took a short trip to Charlotte to visit the in-laws this past weekend. Marty's sister Anna, her husband and baby were visiting husbands sister so we crashed on in and they were gracious enough to host us. Such a nice family and so welcoming. We had a nice time hanging out with Anna and Tim and even had his sister come and get us from the bar later on that night - what fun!

I'm getting back into training again, it's nice to have a schedule. I have to hound my coach since I'm not a 'paying' customer, but he usually comes through :) I have set a new pr in the 400 yard free, heehee. You know you are a pretender when you set pr's in the middle of master's practice!

Also, if anyone in the Triangle area is interested in coaching a kids summer swim league, let me know. One of my clients emailed me and said her neighborhood (very west Cary) is looking for a coach. The season runs from mid/late-May to the end of July. I think they are looking for a head coach, an assistant head coach and two assistants - all paid positions.

Time to climb on the trainer for a short bit. Even though it was in the 60's today, by the time I got home from work it was dark. Grrrrr.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tassie's Bad Habits

She doesn't have many, but Tassie showed us two of her bad habits yesterday. The first: she loves to chew up paper - typically a coupon or a napkin. She tears it neatly and leaves it in a close pile. When I see it I do the typical, "Tassie, what did you do?!" and she will then lower her head and slink out of the room. But seriously, how can I be mad at something like this? Marty is convinced that someday she's going to leave us a message with the scraps.

Her other bad habit is begging - for beer. She doesn't beg for food, I guess because we've never given her people food before, but she is also one of the few dogs who isn't food motivated. We make her sit while we put her food into her bowl and once we're done we'll say, "Okay, Tassie, you can eat now," and she'll often times continue sitting and just look at us. The other day Marty left half a pizza on the stove while we went out, and the entire thing was sitting there when we got back. It just doesn't occur to her that she could've easily eaten that. Or maybe she doesn't like pizza? Anyways, we all know Marty is a beer-lover and he gives her a finger of foam from a poured beer. And okay, the end of the bottle sometimes, too. Now what she does is lay her head down on the couch and stare into his eyes. Once he makes eye contact with her, she'll then look at his beer. He can't resist her cute, wiley ways.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Racing Next Year

I don't have a complete schedule of races I'll do next year, but I have the big ones picked out. In between these I'll probably jump in some local sprints that don't need a year in advance notice. So here's how it's shaping up:

  • Some early sprint: possibly the Smithfield sprint I did last year in Virginia. Free place to stay (I'm assuming anyways...Heather?) and it starts at 10 am. Now what other triathlon starts that late? I'm just hoping it's not in the low 40's and windy like this past year
  • St. Anthony's - Always got to get down to the hometown race. It's always hot with great competition. Love it. Even though it's a fast course, it can be a sufferfest out there on the run!
  • White Lake Sprint - the first weekend. They are having two back to back weekends for the White Lake Half and Sprint races. The sprint race has typically been the qualifier for BOUS and I'm hoping the first weekend still is. I'm not trying to qualify (that would be one expensive jaunt to California!), but know if it is the qualifier the race will have better competition. The other weekend my sister is graduating from UNC Chapel Hill with her PhD in Human Movement Science. Slightly more important than a sprint race!
  • Philadelphia Olympic - This should be fun. I found out we were doing this one at breakfast last Friday. I had asked Beth what her race schedule was looking like and when she said she was doing Philly, Marty interjected "So are we!" I then turned to him to say, "Uh, we are? Were you going to let me know?" Good thing that came up because it was quickly selling out.
  • After that, I don't know. Maybe USAT Nationals since it's kind of driving distance (9.5hrs)?

There you have it. Scintillating, I know.

As you were.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Jogging Through the Neighborhood

Two runs down and no calf pain - not that I thought there would be since I did everything right and took ample time off. The other good thing is I don't actually feel too out of shape. I think I had gotten into pretty good shape training for the Philly half, so a couple of weeks off didn't hurt me too bad. I can tell my endurance is down, but I don't feel like I'm falling all over myself like I do sometimes after an extended break.

We ran with the Inside Out group tonight - Tassie came along. She's the worst pacer ever and always wants to be in the lead, even if her tongue is dragging on the sidewalk. Marty tried to slow her down at the end because she seemed so tired but the second she had runners ahead of her all bets were off. Under any other circumstance I think I would have been scared of an animal heavily breathing immediately behind me. One of the guys also suggested we put a bumper sticker on her that says, "Makes Sudden Stops" after nearly getting clotheslined for the second time.


Off to watch The Office & 30 Rock on the DVR from last week. Can't stay up that late on Thursday nights.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fishy Fishy

This morning as I was walking out the door at 5:30 Marty said, “You are going to hate the workout.” Just what you want to hear, bleary-eyed on your way to the pool! It’s a good thing Marty never tells me the workout beforehand. I hear it the same as everyone else, on the wall right before we set off.

For the past 2 months I have been swimming very sporadically. It’s the off season and I was letting myself sleep in if I wanted to. In October I had several weeks of zero swimming, but that slowly moved to at least once a week and in November I even had a few twice a weeks in there. December 1 was my date to get back into a training groove instead of the whatever-I-feel-like groove I had been in. So in the water with everyone else, Marty announces the set after some warmup/drills/builds: “1,000 for time.” I think all of us thought we had misheard him…what?! “Yup, 1,000 for time,” then he went into an explanation of why this is a good benchmark set while we all hung on the wall trying to quickly wrap our minds around it.

Anyways, I had no idea what I could do with my recent lack of swimming, but realized my swim has improved over the year so hopefully some of that fitness still remained. Off I went, was able to keep count, and touched the wall in 13:30 after a solid but not all out effort. It took me about a 25 easy after to calculate what that pace was per 100 (my brain was a bit fuzzy - 1:21) and when I realized, I was stoked! I didn’t do a 1,000 test set last year but I would bet money that it would not have been 1:21 pace at this point in time. It’s fun to see improvement! After the 1,000 we then did some 400’s descending – tough workout this morning!

After work I’m planning on running for the first time in several weeks. Just 20min, but I’m excited to get back out there. I’m ready to start training again and looking forward to next year’s races.

I had to do a little editing on the comic below - erase the cigarette because of course Marty doesn't smoke. Also, Marty is much more fit than this guy, but this is what he does when we don't get in quick enough. Just kidding :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wine, Cheese and Chocolate

We had a great time and late night at a wine & cheese party last night. The chocolate fountain was also a big hit and I think I ate a few pounds of cheese throughout the night. I'm not a big wine fan, although the sweeter, dessert wines are pretty good - so I drank beer instead. How uncouth!

Some of you over the past couple of years have asked why we left Florida, more specifically Orlando, and moved up to North Carolina. I think the picture below is pretty compelling and one of the reasons why we wanted to get the heck out of there.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Vay-Cay

Ahhhh, gotta love the 4 day weekend! It feels like Sunday but I still have the weekend ahead of me! So far we've had a great Thanksgiving vacation. Yesterday morning Marty ran the Cary Turkey Trot and had a pretty good showing for his current fitness level. Tassie and I cheered on the runners (she cried again when Marty went by and she realized she wasn't going with him), and we got to talk with Rebecca and Scott DeWire for a bit after the race. They're moving to Philadelphia in the next few months with their very cute baby.

In the afternoon I was going to ride the trainer and then realized that would be the stupidest thing ever since the weather was so nice. I talked Marty into hitting the greenways on our mountain bikes instead. I was thinking maybe an hour max at cruise pace. But when we got close to Umstead, he convinced me that we should go through Umstead - which not only adds several more miles but a lot more hills. I said sure, why not? Then when we got to Harrison, he convinced me that instead of taking the straight shot home, we should try and find the greenway again. Ooookaaaay. This ride ended up being 1:45, with many hills and a very out of shape rider on a 40 lb mountain bike - I was whupped at the end! I had just enough time to stick my sweet potato casserole in the oven and shower before heading over to my sister's where we all proceeded to stuff ourselves silly.

This morning we had master's practice and a few other showed up (including Beth and Oscar) and we did a typical 'Fast Friday' workout (lots of short fast intervals with lots of rest). I'm hoping these workouts help me get out faster next year with the good swimmers so I can try and hang on longer. Off to breaky at the Food Factory with the gang and then Beth and Oscar came to our house to meet Princess Tasmania and her bff Cider. It was great to hang out with the two of them since I feel like I know them through their blogs. Now they only need to follow Beth's family's lead and move south!

I also got out on the old tri bike this afternoon with Alysia - lots of chatting and a little biking :)

And oh yeah, in case you're wondering about the push up challenge, here's the status. After week 4 you take another test and I was able to do 35 consecutive push ups. But lets just say the last 10 are maybe not full push ups, but whatever. Onto week 5 but I realize that this test now puts me at the level 1 schedule for week 5 - I had been on the level 2 schedule for all the previous weeks. And after week 5 you take another test and if you don't do 45 consecutive push ups, you have to repeat week 5....you may see where I'm going with this. I think it's possible I might be stuck at week 5 for awhile, maybe forever?? But from just several weeks ago when I could only do 12 push ups, I think my improvement is pretty good.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sammy Save-Up

Sammy Save-Up was what Marty called me today after he challenged me to a 100 yard race at the end of our swim workout this morning. When he initially said “let’s race this one” I said, “whatever” because Marty can do under a 1:00 pretty much anytime he wants to. So he said he would do it one-arm. I agreed and then realized after the first 25 that it was going to be very difficult to beat him! How embarrassing! I saved my kick and really turned it on the last 25 yards so I could get ahead and win the dumb thing. And that’s when he declared “Nice job, Sammy Save-up” Hey, a win’s a win :)

I’m so glad it’s a 3 day work week! We’re doing Thanksgiving at my sister’s who lives in Raleigh with a couple of her friends – I’m in charge of the sweet potatoe casserole…I’m pretty sure I can handle that. Marty is doing the Turkey Trot on Thursday morning in Cary and once again Tassie and I will be out there cheering everyone on. I had another massage yesterday and my calf is feeling great, but I figured I might as well wait until next week and make sure it’s 100% before jumping into anything. Friday morning we’re having Master’s an hour later than normal and Beth will be joining us! Then we’re going to hit the Food Factory for breakfast afterwards – it’s always my motivation to make sure I swim Friday, although I have been known on some occasions to just meet people for breakfast and skip the swim. Not often, though!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So Cute

Yesterday Marty and I had a nice day together. We went shopping so I could try and update my ugly winter clothing and Marty ended up with a couple of sweaters, also (which he was later complimented on by a waitress!) Then we went to Umstead so he could run and I was going to take Tassie and Cider for a walk (we're dogsitting this weekend) but that proved to be way harder than I thought it would be and I ended up driving them back home and then going back to Umstead for a walk before Marty was done. Tassie started it all because she started whining and cry-barking when Marty took off. This got Cider excited and they both were pulling like crazy and they almost took me down. Then when they started to calm down, another bundled up runner who looked very similar to Marty ran by and the whole process started over again. Instead of getting my shoulders ripped out of their sockets I called it a day for the double doodle walk.

Later on we decided to have date night and we headed to the Mellow Mushroom in downtown Raleigh. This is where the 'so cute' title comes from. We were eating our pizza, deep in conversation when a cute little boy comes walking from the bathroom and gives Marty a half wave - the type of wave little kids give when they are a bit embarrassed but still want to say hi. Marty immediately jumps up (to my surprise) and exclaims: "Hi Stephen! How are you?! This is my wife, Bri!" Then he turns to me and says, "Stephen is in my Kung Fu class." Stephen just stood there with a shy smile, probably because he was talking to an adult other than a parent in a restaurant. He was beyond cute. Marty asked him if he was here with his parents but no, he was there for a birthday party :) Wonder why Marty didn't get invited?

Once Stephen left I could not stop laughing. The whole situation with Marty starting Kung Fu and being in a class with 8 years old at the beginning (at least his friend Dave is also in there with him) and then to meet one of the classmates out - it was hilarious.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Boring is as boring does

The lack of blogging is in direct correlation to the fact that I feel like I just don’t have a lot of interesting stuff to talk about. I’m still plugging away at the hundred pushup challenge, although after last nights I could barely swim this morning. I had to do sets of 18, 22, 16, 16, and at least 25. I’m glad no one was watching because I’m not sure I did full pushups at the end of some of those, and my 60 second break between the last round ended up being 10min. There is no way I’m going to finish this 6 week stint and be able to do 100 consecutive like the plan promises, but I figure I’m able to do way more than I ever have in my life so I can at least stick with sets of 15 or so after this is all done.

This weekend is Ironman Arizona and good luck to all those who have stuck it out this late in the season – wow! Marty has a few athletes racing and our friends Brooke and Nicolai will also be out there. Last year Brooke did IM Florida, was hit by a car at the beginning of the bike, waited and filed a police report, and still finished in a 10:43! Hopefully, she has some better luck this Sunday.

I gave Tassie a bath last night. See, I told you I got nothing go on…

Sunday, November 16, 2008


In a little bit, we'll be heading to downtown Raleigh for the Old Reliable 10K/5K. Marty's running the 10K and Tassie and I will be cheering from the sidelines. Tassie will be very excited to see people and will be wiggling everywhere, and then she'll probably get scared by a leaf that blows by. Such is life for her.

We've had a very nice low-key weekend here. Went out for dinner and drinks with my sister who had her dissertation for her PhD approved on Wednesday. And last night we went to a friend's house for stir fry and Outburst. Happy Birthday to my oldest (haha) sister Heather yesterday, Marty's mom today, and my mom this Friday.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Calf Strain!

I went to see an awesome massage therapist yesterday and he worked on me for 2 hrs! That was 2 hrs of pure pain – and it turns out he is pretty sure I strained my soleus and my Achilles is ok. I’m relieved about that because I know Achilles problems are not to be taken lightly and can last for a very long time. I’m not sure how exactly I strained the muscle but I do know that I’m very, very tight on my right side, which might explain some of the problems I’ve been having this year (which all happen to be on the right side). I’m planning on sneaking back a few times to get more massage when Marty’s not looking :) It seems I need a little help in taking care of this body that I’ve been abusing for a long time now.

I’m now in off-season running mode which means ‘no running’ since I need to let this muscle heal. He worked on it so deep that even last night just the lightest touch was painful. I’m all compression socked up at work but nobody knows since I’ll wear pants everyday. I try to get to swimming at least two times a week but I’m not so sure about biking right now. I rode the trainer the other night easy because I thought it wouldn’t hurt my leg but it was sore after. And now knowing that I have a muscle strain it makes sense. I think I’ll lay off the bike for a bit longer – there’s no point in hurting it more, and it’s only November so what type of training is really necessary?

My plan is to stretch more, strengthen more, and get a couple of more massages. Mom and dad – great Christmas gifts will be a few freebies! I didn’t really want a Garmin watch anyways.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Achilles Heel

This year has been a bit of a bust for me athletically, but luckily my self-worth does not depend on my athletic talent. I was thinking about this as I sat here filling out a form to take to a massage therapist I’m seeing in the morning. I’ve been having an achilles/calf problem for about a week. Of course, at first I thought it was nothing that a tiny bit of rest and ice couldn’t fix, but it turns out it’s still a problem. Enter massage person. Some of the questions on his 3 page docket (!)

What is your past experience with massage?
Have had many massages over the years but not regularly because my husband is cheap :)

What are your intentions or expectations for this visit?
For you to cure me, of course!

Past injuries or Accidents
Plantar fasciitis since collegiate running, but it has been very manageable over the years. Then earlier this year it hurt very bad and wasn’t going away and later it was diagnosed as a calcaneal stress fracture – although no bone scan or MRI was performed. Did not run for 8 weeks to let it heal. Prior to this NEVER ANY INJURIES!!! So this year has really stunk!

I then realized that those words were a bit over the top, because as a person this year has not stunk at all – just in my little triathlon world and the goals and ideas I had for myself. But as a year goes, this one has not ‘stunk’ at all - case in point:

I have a full time job and although I may not be in love with the work, it is a job that I’m lucky to have so I can bring home money and live a nice life with my husband.

I coached several people this year and had a great time doing it. I learned a lot, they learned a lot, and I’m hoping in the future I can build up my clients and do what I love.

Marty and I took several trips – skiing, Grand Canyon, Ashville, Florida several times, Outer Banks – we do love to travel.

I made friends with people out in blogland and even got to meet several of them. Yay for new friends!

We know lots of nice people up here in NC now, after our first year where we were both feeling maybe a bit low on the friend groups after moving away from all of our buddies in Orlando.

So those are just a few of the things I thought of immediately of why this year really didn’t stink. There are plenty more but who wants to read about why I love hanging out with Marty and how much fun we have together?

Anyways, it’s looking like at this point I’m not going to get to run the Philly Half Marathon anymore. I tried to run a bit yesterday and my leg hurt bad enough to walk a lot of it, and then was really hurting as I coached Master’s later that night. I’m not too upset about it honestly. I would’ve really liked the opportunity to run a flat out ½ marathon and see what type of time I could do, but I’m happy that I’ve been able to put forth some effort running and stay in shape with that goal in mind. So all is not lost. It did give me something to shoot for.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fall Colors

The leaves have changed and it's been really beautiful here in NC. Unfortunately, once the leaves change they then fall to the ground. It looks like Marty has a lot of raking in his future!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fun Stuff

A Big Ol' Bitch Slap
Some of you may have read about the woman who had the fastest time at the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco, but wasn't awarded anything because she didn't race 'elite.' Now, we can argue back and forth on this one but that's not what I'm here to do. Read what Reebok did recently for her. Oh Snap!

"Remember Arien O'Connell? She was the elementary teacher from New York who had the fastest time at the Nike Women's Marathon, but wasn't awarded first place because she wasn't in the "elite" group.
Well, you probably saw this one coming. On Thursday, representatives from Reebok, Nike's arch-rival, surprised O'Connell with a special awards ceremony at her Beginning with Children Charter School in Brooklyn, New York.
Reebok presented O'Connell with the following: a trophy, a free pair of shoes every month for a year, T-shirts for everyone in her class, and a $2,500 donation to her school.
The inscription on the trophy? "Winner and Heroine of Non-Elite Runners Everywhere."
That sound you hear is Nike grinding its corporate teeth."
Link to story

Google is Cool
Sometimes when I want to daydream and reminisce about our trip around the world, I hit up google maps and look at their street view. I can go back to where we lived in Australia, or where we rode our bikes in Tasmania...I can waste a lot of time on there. Recently, the google map recorder van was in Pittsburgh and somehow people found out and staged some funny things that would be captured. Things like runners pretending to be in a race, a mad scientist, a parade and an Angaron Battle (whatever that is). Check out the street view here and a little write-up of the staged event here.

Tassie Thinks I'm a Chair
Here's Tassie sitting in my lap after I completed Week 2, Day 3 of the hundred pushup challenge. I'm doing it, but it's already become quite a struggle. Let's see how far I can go.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Boring Stuff

Not sure why there is a 'public service ad' from google at the top of my page!

Tomorrow Marty’s dad flies in to spend the weekend with us. It also happens to be Marty’s birthday on Saturday – the big 3-7! Oh my! This is the 9th birthday I’ve celebrated with him. It looks like this year we’ll be driving down to Myrtle Beach for a casino boat cruise. Should be fun.

Finally the election is over! I’m so glad we won’t be seeing all those nasty political ads (we had some whoppers between Elizabeth Dole and Kay Hagan). I have no idea why NC hasn’t been able to declare who won the presidential election yet in our state. Something about making sure people who voted were allowed to vote – uh, every other state was able to figure this out and get their tally in. What the heck is wrong? But it’s nothing new because Marty and I have already been in the debacle that was Florida with our hanging and pregnant chad’s. I guess we brought it with us.

I managed to make it to Master’s this morning. I take the off season seriously and if I don’t feel like doing something I don’t force myself to. There will be plenty of times next year to harden up and get to practice, but for now if I want to sleep I allow myself that privilege. The thing is, I really enjoy Master’s, so I’ll end up getting up more often than not. And on the pushup front, my last round yesterday ended with 15 consecutive! Not bad, eh?!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Weekend Update

I have a lot say since it’s been very busy the past few days! We left after breakfast on Friday morning to make the 12 hour drive to Panama City Beach. We caught a bit of a break since the time changes in our favor on the way down and got in at around 7:45pm. And since this weekend was when we all turn our clocks back, we didn’t have to exactly lose that hour coming home – I’m really trying to put a positive spin on that long boring drive :) When I drove we listened to music and some Howard Stern. When Marty drove we listened to Bloomberg radio and Sirius Patriot which was full of right wing conservatives. These guys scream their fool head off and belittle their callers. My ‘favorite’ was this guy Andrew who would end up shouting at some of his callers: “I’m right, you’re wrong, end of story!!!” All very entertaining to say the least.

So we get into PCB and our friends who had so graciously allowed us to sleep on their pullout couch were heading to the Mellow Mushroom for dinner. We didn’t realize that they would be eating that late – if we had known we wouldn’t have eaten at the Burger King attached to a gas station an hour earlier. UGH. After hanging out and having a few beers our friends were in no mood to hit the sack so we all stayed up way late telling stories. Our condo was very convenient to the race site, but not so conducive to sleeping as it was right next to Spinnakers and Club LaVela…and they were both throwing big, loud Halloween parties. Now Marty fell asleep instantly and was snoring away in baby dreamland but I was not so lucky. It sounded like the band was on our balcony and I kept hearing someone on the mic yell “Let’s make some noise!!! Somebody SCREAM!!!” No exaggeration, the last time I looked at my watch it was 2:15am. The alarm was set for 5:30am. Oh dear.

We all got up at 5:30 except for Dear Husband who decided he would rather get some extra sleep than watch the swim start. Yes, he was the smartest but I was not going to miss the start and not see my athletes embark on their first Ironman. This was the 8th Ironman I have spectated (IM California, Duke Blue Devil, Great Floridian, IM Arizona (2 times), IM Hawaii, IM Florida (2 times)! And the swim start is always an amazing sight to see. I saw my girls and both had great swim times for themselves. Once they go off on the bike you have lots of time to do whatever you want since you don’t see them again until they start the run.

Fellow blogger Marit had driven over from Pensacola and we had tentatively planned on going for a run. I have never formally met Marit even though we’ve raced against each other a couple of times, but I feel like I know her through her blog and from exchanging a few emails. Our run was great and the conversation never stopped – it was so great to talk and get to know her better! Now she’s moving clear across the country to San Diego but I plan on visiting her there at some point (as I think a lot of people are planning on doing!) Even though we both proclaimed to be shy when first meeting people, you wouldn’t know it based off of the two of us together. I was going to run for 1:45 and tried to talk her into going that long with me but she was a good athlete and stuck to her own training plan and ran 1:15.

After Marty and I finished adding a little more time, we dipped our legs in the ocean which was, by the way, absolutely gorgeous!!! Beautiful colors, calm waters – so Florida. I love the Gulf. Since Marty had gotten decent sleep he got some lunch with our gang but I opted to try and relax and maybe catch some zzz’s before camping out on the run course. I was able to nap for about 30min, so that was at least something. I made my way out in front of the condo and we all set up our chairs and coolers to settle in for the remainder of the day.

Views from our room:

I love cheering for the athletes. I love that everyone wears their name on their number so you can yell just to them. A lot of people smile or even say thanks, and there are plenty who are so focused they don’t even acknowledge you. After cheering for hundreds and hundreds of people (and with it being a two loop course) you start to get a little loopy with your cheers. One guy ran by who’s name was ‘Alfredo’ so we were all, “All right, Alfredo! Keep it going! Stay tough!” .......“I love your sauce!” (groan!) Yes, we were that group.

Me and Christina cheering on the runners. I have to stoop way down so as not to look like Giant Woman next to her.

My girls did great! They both felt good (except for the last part of the run, but that’s kind of expected) and they finished with huge smiles on their faces. I teared up watching them finish because I know how hard they worked to get to that finish line. It was awesome. I don’t have any kids but I felt like I did on Saturday as I worried all day about how they were doing, feeling and hoping they were staying positive and enjoying the experience. Needless to say I was a wee bit exhausted that night.

Marty and I fell into our pullout couch and I had no trouble falling asleep this time around. We got up at 7:30 and briefly contemplated getting breakfast with our whole gang but realized this was going to be a big undertaking and we really needed to get on the road. We stopped at some greasy spoon on our way out of town before hitting the long road back up to NC. We were pretty much splitting the drive until the end when I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Thank god for Marty! He is such a trooper for going down there with me and driving my tired butt back home. He’s the best.

I slept like a baby on Sunday night, skipped morning swim practice (which has become a habit I need to break to be honest!) and slept in. I felt much better after that. Then it was off to work, back home for a run, then coaching Master’s. Phew!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Catching Up

  • We started week 2 of my hundred pushup challenge. We being, of course, Marty and yours truly. Marty does one more pushup each round then I do, and he goes down a lot further. Tonight we did 9, 11, 8, 8, 11+. I figure I'm doing all right since just last week my max was 12. On the last one, I always let out a big moan and curl up in a little ball. Maybe a bit too dramatic.

  • Last night I ran on the treadmill at work. I'm very lucky to have a pretty nice weight room just a few buildings away from where I sit. My workout was 50min total of running, with 10 x 1min hard (1min easy in between). Since they were short intervals the 1 minutes needed to be fast - and I know I looked very ridiculous sprinting with my long stride on the treadmill with my coworkers walking or lightly doing the elliptical next to me. Luckily, I don't actually work with any of these people and they don't know who I am (at least I hope). I also get tired quick of staring at myself in the mirror that is directly in front of me, and seeing my horrible cross-over arm swing that I can't seem to correct.

  • I'm getting excited to watch IMFL! I can't wait to cheer everyone on and finally meet Marit and Mary. However, I'm not looking forward to the drive down and back.

  • Overall, my running is not going so well. I'm not totally sure why, but have a feeling it may have something to do with the fact I'm not following any sort of plan and am just winging it. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to be out there running at all, but I'm just frustrated with how it's all progressed over the past few months. We did another 5k this past weekend; just for a workout but I was still pretty disappointed with my time. At least I had on a cute outfit.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

NC State Fair Pictures (and pig racing video!)

Marty won me a rose at balloon darts
More fried food then you could ever want.

The fried cheeseburger gang

Me eating a fried milky way

This ride was fun...but I honestly felt SO sick to my stomach after it since I just wolfed down the fried milky way. Makes me nauseous just thinking about it.

The BMX show was quite impressive. Don't try this one at home on your tribike!

And the highlight of the night - the pig races!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Off to the Fair

Ever since we moved to North Carolina (2 years ago) we have always been told, "You have got to go to the fair!" I'm not sure what the big deal is, but we are about to find out. I think it has something to do with the fact that they will fry anything, have a pig who paints, and all walks of life will be there (this isn't Cary anymore!) The fairgrounds are only about 10-15min from our house so we really have no excuse. It was rainy and gloomy all morning but now it's sunny and nice and definitely has the potential for big crowds. Something I'm not a fan of, so I'm really not sure how long we'll stay (at least admission is cheap). We'll bring the camera and I'll post any good pictures. Definitely one of me eating a fried milkyway -- it's kind of one of those lifelong items I want to check off the list.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Guess I Made Fall Mad

So much for me complaining about where was Fall last week. It is here! Our mornings have been super cold recently. The afternoons have been warming up nicely but the days of 80 degrees seem to be gone. I did my bi-annual clothes switch where I break out my sweaters and put my tank tops away. I’m always amazed at how many clothes I have and also amazed at how I seem to be disgusted with them all. I guess that’s a girl thing. Closet full of clothes – nothing to wear.

Yesterday the Price sisters were nice enough to meet me at Umstead for a run. They were very nice to do my workout with me and wait for me at the end. I’m huffing and puffing like a freight train and the two of them are dancing ahead practically doing cartwheels up the hills. They really made me go harder than I would’ve on my own and I was very happy they were there.

In other news, we’re not spectating at the B2B anymore (sorry Rebecca, I was planning on being your superfan that day, too!). I’ve been coaching two ladies for over a year now in preparation for IM Florida which is the same day. We weren’t planning on driving to Panama City (11+ hours) but I really wanted to go down there and support them. So we’ve decided to drive all day on Friday, watch the race on Saturday and drive back all day Sunday. It will be exhausting but so worth it. It’s been very fun working with these two and seeing their progress over the year has been very fulfilling. Marty has helped me out since he is a wealth of knowledge and has coached so many to an Ironman, and these were my first. I can’t wait to see them put all their hardwork to use on Nov 1.

I just wanted to make sure no one got the wrong idea on my last post. I didn’t write “I’m not skinny” because I wanted people to tell me that I was skinny, I seriously don’t have any issue with my weight or any of that stuff. I never have and I count myself in the minority of that group since I was a collegiate runner. Anyways, I enjoyed the comments…but no takers on doing the challenge with me?! :) Let me just say that I was sore for OVER A DAY after doing just 12 pushups. I’m going to try and stick with the plan and see how far I can get.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Puny Arms

I have skinny arms. I'm not saying I'm skinny, because I'm not, but my arms are. It's a good thing swimming does not depend on how big your arms are or I would be the slowest one out there. So when someone posted this website on one of my facebook groups, I thought, "I am so in!" Supposedly in just 6 weeks, if I follow a specific training plan I will be able to do 100 consecutive pushups! Stop laughing.

Tonight was my test night. I did 12 consecutive pushups. Again, please stop laughing. You are hurting my feelings.

We'll see how it goes. I am going to try and stick to the plan and see if I can get any stronger. I'd also like to get out of my x-small arm warmers.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Long Run

I know it's all relative because some people reading this may think, "She thinks that is a long run?" While others may think "I don't even like driving that far!" But for me, 12 miles is long, and that's what I did this afternoon at Umstead. To be really honest, I have no idea how far I went, but it took me 1:50+ on single track trails, bridle trails, and steep hills so I'll just be conservative and call it 12. I felt pretty strong until the very end where Marty wanted to go back in one of the single track trails and my legs were pretty tired -- and having to navigate roots and rocks was tough. But at least I didn't do a face plant. Oops, I said I wouldn't tell anyone, so forget I said that.

Yesterday we had another successful swim clinic. After running so many of these, we've really gotten the schedule and planning down. There does always seem to be a little blip (like double booking the room we were doing presentations in) but we always handle them well and everyone walks away with a lot more knowledge than they came in with.

Better get to that laundry pile I have...

Friday, October 17, 2008

F-L-O-R-I-D-A S-T-A-T-E!!!

What a night yesterday! We got tickets through the FSU Alumni Club for the NC State/FSU game held (obviously) at NC State. This Thursday night game was shown live on ESPN and I tried not to make any silly faces just in case I happened to get on tv again! Unfortunately, the game coincided with the opening night of the NC State Fair which is a HUGE deal and right next to the stadium.

We left the house early so we would have plenty of time to park, walk, and tailgate a bit before kickoff. We ended up parking in a lot (cow pasture) that had free shuttles running to the stadium. This would’ve worked out great except the shuttles all got stuck with everyone else in game/fair/rush hour traffic. And our bus DIDN’T HAVE AC! It was straight out of 1972. Don’t let me fail to mention that it was almost 90 degrees yesterday (I have no idea what is taking Fall so long to arrive this year). So we are all stuffed on this bus, with some drunk but loveable FSU fans, who were from Lexington, NC (try and find that one on the map). After sitting on the bus for about 30min and making it 1.5 miles, everyone just up and left – I think the bus driver knew he was about to have a major mutiny on his hands! We quickly found the FSU Alumni tailgate and had some beer and made some friends before the game. We also ran into our triathlon friends, Tim and Angela Gautreau – Tim’s a huge FSU fan, but Angela went to NC State – they still sat in the FSU section. She’s a good sport.

We sat in the FSU section and everyone was pretty pumped – we stood a lot during the game. I felt like we were in the student section! There were some FSU superfans (probably college students who drove up here) that never seemed to tire of doing the tomahawk chop or jumping up and down for their team. It was a close game and in the end the FSU kicker was the hero, making a 53 yard field goal with less than 2 minutes to go (right near us!) It’s so fun to go to someone else’s stadium and beat their team ;) Now, I didn’t go to FSU, but Marty did so I cheer for them by default.

Marty wanted to leave after the 3rd quarter so we wouldn’t hit any traffic but Bill and I (Bill flew up from Orlando to go the game) were like, No Way! But he had it in his head and wasn’t budging. So we finally compromised and he was going to walk back to the car and come and get us along the way once we left. So Bill and I stayed and got to see the exciting finish and then left to start our walk back. We saw the line for the shuttles which was a million miles long, and all the shuttles were stuck in traffic and said, screw it, we’re hoofing it. I couldn’t get a hold of Marty and then all of the sudden I get a call from an odd number. I answer and it’s Marty – he had gotten lost trying to find our car and ended up who knows where before deciding to just go back to the stadium and get on a shuttle! He was luckily already on a shuttle and didn’t have to wait in that line we saw. In the end, he still got to the car before us and picked us up along the street and we got out of there before hitting any backups!

At one point during the game I went to the bathroom and had to laugh at what was painted behind every toilet – “Please do not throw liquor bottles down the toilet.” Ha! Only in North Cackalacky!!

Totally on a different topic – the Philly half marathon and marathon are sold out! I had sent my entry in through the mail because I didn’t want to pay the Active fee (which is such a ripoff) but I didn’t know if my stuff got there in time (I’m not sure when exactly it sold out). When I checked, I wasn’t on the confirmation list. I emailed them and a few days went by before I finally got confirmation that I was in – probably just barely. Pheww!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Non-Triathlon Related Sports

It’s the off season! Time for a new topic!

Wow, can anyone believe that the Rays are so close to being in the World Series? Does anyone who reads this blog pay attention to sports other than triathlon, swimming, biking and running? ;) My family are sports connoisseurs – 11pm news at night? P-Shaw, it was Sports Center! So here we are on the cusp of something very neat; a scrappy low-payed team almost in the Championship.

10 years ago, the Rays (or the Devil Rays as they used to be known) were atrocious. I know because I went to many games that summer while I was home from college (they play in St. Pete). My parents had season tickets so we sat with a few other people to cheer on this expansion team in purple and green in the huge cavern that is Tropicana Field. Under 10,000 fans was the norm (and this count included season ticket holders that might not have even been there). So I am not jumping on any bandwagon. We’ve been there since Day 1. And it’s very neat to see this team do so well. The payroll for the Rays is roughly $44 million. Compare that to the Yankees who have a payroll of $209 million, or the Red Sox (who they’re playing right now) at $133 million. MLB Salaries
You can pay for players, but you can’t pay for a team. Instead of trying to bring ‘stars’ to the team, the Rays management have worked on making their farm system top notch. Good on them.

The Tampa Bay area suffered from many bad teams over the years – but we’ve finally grown out of that. The Bucs have won a Super Bowl. The Lightening have won a Stanley Cup, and now…just maybe? Even if the Rays don’t win it all, what a great season!

And just to tie this all into triathlon so I don’t lose any readers (haha), if you ever are near me in transition, check out my transition towel. It’s always a Rays towel (okay, there have been a few occasions when I couldn’t find it and I resorted to Scooby-Doo), but for the most part you will either see a weathered towel with the mascot Raymond on it or the old Tampa Bay Devil Rays logo. Told ya I’ve been a fan for a long time :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oh Yeah, the Leak (thanks for the reminder, Becky!)

In case you wondering about our leak on Friday, the plumber came out and it was a broken t-joint in the crawl space under our house. So luckily, no damage or anything and an easy fix ($100+ later...). All was good.

Until Sunday afternoon, when I got a call from Marty while I was at the mall with my mom, sister and Scott. He went to turn on the sink and the water pressure was way low. When he went to look at our meter it was spinning at a very high rate and he quickly found one of the connections to our hot water heater had broken and water was gushing out everywhere. The hot water heater closet doubles as our bike closet, so luckily we have fairly inexpensive bikes! They just got a bit wet really. But Marty couldn't find our water shut-off so he ended up calling our town's emergency hot line to get them to shut it off. In the meantime, he maneuvered the hose so it was at least spraying into our yard. Anyways, this was completely unrelated to the other incident; we just had some bad luck with our water this weekend! The plumber came out this morning (because it was a lot cheaper than him coming out on Sunday evening, still another $100+ later!) so we were without water, but had some bottles to at least allow us to brush our teeth. No chance of me skipping out on swimming this morning since I needed to use all of their facilities :)

Just so you don't think Marty is a complete do-do, the plumber also couldn't find our water shut-off! Later on, Marty finally found it in our front coat closet. Exactly where it should be??

I'm not so sure I want to see our water bill for this month...

Saturday, October 11, 2008


The day started early with an easy run before heading to my sister's so we could all carpool to the tailgate. We were under strict instructions to be at her house at 10am. The game was at 3:30pm. These were some hardcore tailgaters. We did your typical tailgate activities: cornhole, beers before noon, chips, cupcakes, tailgate golf, etc. My mom, Marty and I all sat in the Notre Dame section and had a lot of fun rooting on the Irish before being bested by the Tarheels. Ah well.

And please beware, if you ever find yourself at a televised football game, there is a chance you might be caught live making a very stupid face...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Conserving Water

Last summer we had a very bad drought here in North Carolina (and in much of the south). I tried to do my part by changing little habits: not leaving the water running while I soap my hands up after a bathroom break, quick showers, use Tassie’s old/dirty water to water the plants, stuff like that. Nothing huge or anything, but they all formed new habits that I still do to this day. At work they changed the flushing mechanisms so if you pull up it flushes liquid and if you push down it flushes solids (poop, hee hee. I know, I’m so mature). So you can imagine my dismay when I got this email from Marty a little bit ago:

"The town of Cary came out to let us know we have some sort of water leak going on, without anything running we're going through about 10 gallons an hour. I called a plumber and they're coming out today."

GEEZ! 10 gallons an hour?! So much for my weak conservation attempts! I sure hope they find that leak quick and it’s not too expensive to fix.

NC Drought 1 Year Ago

NC Drought Today with our House Leak

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fall is here

A lot of blogs are filled with Ironman updates and pictures from Kona. It’s hard to believe it’s been 3 years since we were there! I see the pictures and totally remember all the scenes and feelings…and I wasn’t even racing! It was so much fun to be out there and cheering for everyone (and of course, my Marty) – definitely an event that is worth going to even if you never race it (if you have unlimited funds, that is).

I had a nice run at Umstead yesterday after work. I had originally planned on running Turkey Creek but realized as I set out on Loblolly that I had been in quite a rut of always doing bridle trails, so I turned around and did Company Mill instead. Company Mill is much shorter than Turkey Creek, but it’s a different type of workout since you are constantly avoiding rocks, roots and going up or down. It works all sorts of different muscles and I felt that was a good decision and something I needed to get back to. Anyways, I felt good out there flying through the trail on my own and turned in a time that is usually reserved for when I am in good shape. Hmmmmm.

This weekend we’re going to the Notre Dame v UNC game here in Chapel Hill with my mom, sister and sister’s boyfriend. For those of you who know my family from LONG ago, you of course know that we’re huge Notre Dame fans (my dad went there). We grew up singing the fight song, having Irish named dogs, and watching many, many games (live and on tv). I was even in the stadium when they filmed the final scene of Rudy! I did apply and get accepted to Notre Dame, but this Florida girl probably would’ve made it about a month in that lake effect South Bend winter. Shana, my sister, went to undergrad and is getting her PhD at UNC, but I’m sure she will still be secretly happy if Notre Dame comes out on top. Cheer cheer.

One last thing, I didn't watch the Presidential debate last night. I figured I would just watch the recap on SNL this weekend.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Some Pics from the Weekend

We had a nice time with my dad this past weekend. After my little fainting episode, I felt a little off for a bit - my run the next morning was not too swift and at the end I had to walk because I was starting to get dizzy again. And then after kayaking I again felt a bit like I had just gotten off of a roller coaster. It was a bit worrisome, but after that I seemed to turn a corner and have felt much better. We had a super yummy dinner at some restaurant in Long Boat Key on Saturday night (it even had it's own dessert room!). Then on Sunday Marty and I ran to the Pier (no dizziness and we even saw some dolphins playing in the water right next to the seawall). That afternoon we had a nice cookout with friends and played some croquet. Here are some pictures from the weekend. I'm off to coach Master's!

Marty tried to wear socks with my dad's Keens. Don't worry, we didn't let him out of the house.

Marty did most of the paddling. I lounged :)

There's my dad up ahead of us

See, here I am lounging while Marty paddled away

Dad again

I'm almost paddling in this picture

Bird watching, they let us get really close

Marty and his new friend Parker. Tassie was so jealous when she saw this picture. Notice how Parker has his arm around Marty!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

In St. Petes'

We made it down to St. Pete for a fun weekend with my dad. After giving Marty and and my dad quite a scare by fainting in the airport, all is well now :) We got some lunch and Marty wouldn't let me out of his sight, but we relaxed all afternoon and I was feeling a whole lot better by the evening. We went to First Friday in downtown St. Pete, and then met up with our friends Quint and Christina Noordstar at the Northeast Tavern.

This morning we did a nice little run along the St. Anthony's course and now we're going to get some breaky and then go kayaking at Fort DeSoto. Fun stuff! Oh yeah, it's hot down here!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Stupid Bug!

I seem to have come down with some sort of cold or bug. It's been going around and Marty wasn't feeling so hot last weekend. I guess it's my turn. It stinks because tomorrow we're heading to St. Pete to hang out with my dad all weekend - and I don't want to be sick on vacation!

I'm trying to hurry this little thing out of my system by resting lots, eating more fruit than I normally do, and loading up on Green Goodness. I figure it can't hurt. Let's hope it's mostly gone by the time we board our plane tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Glimpse in Our Life...

Blogs are so voyeuristic, which I suppose is one of the reasons why they are popular. I do enjoy reading about what's going on in other people's lives, seeing what they're up to and all that. I feel like I have all these additional 'friends' even though I haven't met many of them, and sometimes have never even talked through the internet with them! But I still enjoy checking to see if they updated, and get annoyed when they don't :) I imagine there are many of you out there who have never met me but still read my blog. You can say hi sometime if you want :) Anyways, I took two quick videos before our run the other day with Tassie. So here's another glimpse into our lives...

She's pretty obedient, she always sits and is mostly patient when we put her leash on.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sleep Deprivation Forever

During my very short swimming career as a child, I would see the adult Master’s swimmers and think to myself, “WHY in the world would they CHOOSE to come here and swim?! I’m NEVER going to do that!” It’s quite evident why it was so short, huh! After college I swore to myself that I would not get up before 6am for practice of any sort. I had had enough morning practices and promised I wouldn’t put myself through that on my own will.

Back several years ago, Marty and I were not even semi-regular, but would go to a local high school’s pool for 6am morning swim practice. So much for that promise to myself. The year before we left Florida, I started meeting a friend of mine for a once a week 6am spin class, and a once a week 6am swim together. You gotta do what you gotta do.

Now for almost a year I have been going to our local Master’s practice, headed by a really great guy, at 6am, 3 mornings a week! This means the alarm goes off at 5:25 – even earlier than it did in college for morning runs. But wait, NOW instead of having practice from 6-7am, we’re going 5:45-7:00am. So this morning the alarm went off at 5:10am. You have got to be freaking kidding me. To make matter’s worse, there was a swim meet this past weekend so the water was oh-so-chilly. Chillier than normal. My comment of ‘stupid kids!’ was quickly followed by, ‘sorry, I’m not at my best at 5:50…’

I didn’t get there in time, but was still swimming before 6am. Here’s the typical schedule:

-Alarm goes off. Moan and groan. Whine about not getting enough sleep. Push Marty to make sure he’s awake.
-Tassie runs over and kisses my face, all wiggly and EXCITED FOR MORNING!!! YAY!!!
-Get dressed, brush teeth, grab bags and stumble down stairs.
-Forget something and go back upstairs (this always seems to happen)
-Let Tassie out if Marty hasn’t. One of us gets the coffee pot going.
-Let Tassie back in and feed her
-Possible important bathroom break
-Give Tassie heart pill in liverwurst. Wash hands because liverwurst stinks
-Ask Marty to make me a PB&J for the afternoon
-Hug Tassie and wish I could stay home and play with her all day
-Pack up car, walk back into house because I forget something
-Drive to pool semi-awake
-See someone walking out of pool, already finished with their workout and realize I’m not SO crazy…
-Locker room
-Head to pool deck, get cap ready, chat with fellow swimmers
-Watch everyone dive or jump in
-Head to pools edge, make an ugly face to Marty
-Sit down at edge and dangle legs into water
-Announce to Marty that the water is cold (again)
-Make face when someone splashes me on their flipturn. Never you mind I’m about to get in the pool anyways.
-Deep breath and slide into pool, push off the wall, and curse up a blue streak in my head
-Workout gets underway and I’m happy I’m there :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Run for Fun

The 5k today was really fun if you are into a painful, moderately hilly courses in 90% humidity. Alysia and I went 1-2, and yes, although Marty pointed out I set the course record, let ME point out that the previous course record was 22:30. My time of just under 20:00 really shouldn't be setting any records! Nice tempo run, though. And I got a gift certificate from a local running store so I can't complain too much! :)
We're watching Cider again - we have quite a nice rotation going with her owner Kristy. She'll be watching Tassie this coming weekend. Cider got groomed finally so now the two of them look very similar.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cutie Pie Injury

That's my niece Ashleigh, with her 'Build-A-Bear' (or in this case, 'Build-An-Elephant') and her arm in a sling. Her and her sister were playing on the stairs and Haileigh accidentally dislocated Ashleigh's elbow! No worries, it's actually a common thing in kids. So the next morning when they realized it, she got it re-located (?) and had to wear a sling for a day. Yep, just one day. That's how injuries go when you're 3. You or I would've been out for a month!

This weekend we're finally staying in town, after being gone for the past 3 weekends in a row. Now I can finally catch up on all the things that pile up when you're gone. Like the laundry. It's all clean, but it doesn't like to fold itself. And Husband doesn't seem to like to fold, so I'll be plopped on the couch folding mucho loads hoping there's something good on tv for a good chunk of the day.

Tomorrow I'll be doing a 5K in RTP (Research Triangle Park - where most of us drones work every week). There's also a 10 miler that Marty will be doing. I'm not expecting much for this race, but figured it would be a great opportunity to go out and get a good solid tempo run in.

In other news, we've decided not to put our house on the market. Not that I ever talked about putting it on the market, but we've been looking at some houses in Cary and we were planning on putting ours up for sale. We want to get into a slightly bigger one with a garage, and prices are great. But, we finally decided that trying to sell our house now - with a much lower buyer pool right before the holidays kick up might not be the best time. We're not in any hurry, either. So we're going to hold off until the spring. Luckily, we don't need to sell our house for much more than we bought it to move into something bigger. That's because Marty analyzes everything and is a cheapskate (see previous post).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Expensive Entry Fees

I got around to checking out the Philly Half Marathon registration -- $100!! My mouth dropped open and I immediately texted (is that a word?) Marty. It's unbelievable how much race entries are these days. I've gotten kind of used to the amount for triathlons, but for a run?! They'd better have a great goodie bag. I can't even blame myself for being too lazy to sign up because the fee was raised in early September, and I really didn't commit to running it until very recently (Bri + long stuff = yucky). But I figured it would be nice to try and better my pr and since Marty was running the marathon, I might as well do something. I didn't for once think about not running it because of the entry fee. But that's exactly what Marty said when he saw me this afternoon.

Oh no he di'in't.

Have I ever mentioned Marty is a teensy-weensy bit cheap?

"What?!!!" I said, looking at him like he had two heads. "Well, then I'm not going up there with you!"

I think he relented because he knew I wasn't budging, but I can't say he was happy about it. Nor was he mad. He just didn't say anything. I think he knew my mind was made up.

Now let's recap my 1/2 marathon experiences:

1. Duke Liver Center Half Iron 2004: horrible horrible, lots of walking and an unusable quad afterwards that ended the triathlon season. 1:51:41

2. Duke Liver Center Half Iron 2005: thought I would come back and show this course what I was made of! Ended up even worse. This is starting to be the definition of insanity...1:54:28

3. Sydney Half Marathon 2006: Just for fun since we were living in Australia at the time. Beautiful but hilly course, didn't train specifically for it and was just there for a good time. Splits were confusing since they, like the rest of the world, use the metric system. "Hmmm, so 13K would be like...ah forget it." 1:33:high? Can't find the results.

4. White Lake Half Iron: Flat course, in great shape (yay to only working part time for the early part of that year!) but don't let me fool you, this one was still painful and yucky. 1:31:47

So my goal will be to break that time. I ran 10 miles after work with Marty today and I don't think we were moving all that fast. But, there's still several more weeks to get in shape.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Bri Loop

The Bri Loop is one of our typical running routes from our house. It's half on hilly roads and half on trails at Bond Park. The name came very simply after I ran the loop when we first moved up here. Marty coined it. Incidentally, we also have 'the Tassie Loop' and the 'extended Tassie Loop.' No 'Marty Loop' to date.

The Bri Loop typically takes about 40 min for an easy run, but yesterday I ran it in 37 min. This afternoon I had a message from Marty saying that he AND Tassie had done it in 38 min "so we're just 1 min behind you!" Tassie loves this change in weather, and is able to run so much further when it gets a little cooler.

Marty and I had originally planned on meeting at Umstead when I got off work. I went in before 8am with the hopes of getting out around 4, but I found out late in the day I had to go to a 4 o'clock meeting. Argh. Marty couldn't meet me much later so I was on my own. But what a nice day and run it turned out to be! I soon forgot work and was lost in my own thoughts on the beautiful trails in 70 degree weather. It doesn't get much better than that.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekend Recap

We came home to one very excited dog - she was a wiggling maniac. You definitely feel loved when your pet is so extrememly happy to see you.

We had another fun weekend, this time down in Wrightsville Beach. Marty and I were lucky enough to stay at the in-laws beautiful beach house that is right on the beach, and a very short distance from the swim start of the Wilmington YMCA triathlon. Our friends Alysia and Jimmy stayed there with us and we all felt very lucky to be staying in such a great place. Alysia and I rode our bikes over to the transition area early Saturday morning, in the cold and wind. Cold being relative, but cold for just leaving summertime.

This race was night and day compared to the Virginia Beach race, since I knew SO many people. It's so fun to laugh and catch up with people at the races. The logistical issues at this race went smooth for what I saw and we were all soon in the water shivering before the horn sounded (no wetsuit). My swim felt great. I have definitely improved this year and have improved significantly from a few years ago when I was racing in Florida. Back then I was typically the last elite out by several minutes and raced alone until the run. But now I'm actually able to stay with packs and the main pack of girls was not too far in front of me. The swim times were a lot slower this year than last - I guess the current was not as strong. I hit the ladders and sprinted out to the transition area. This is a long run and quite painful on the feet. Along the way I passed Nas and Laurie but once in transition I somehow managed to get my sunglasses tangled in my helmet straps and had to take the entire helmet off to fix it after unsuccessfully trying to fix it while on my head. They both left transition ahead of me. If it's not one thing it's another in transition with me it seems! Practice practice practice.

I could see Nas ahead of me for quite awhile on this bumpy, potholed bike course. She slowly got away and Laurie and Alysia were also not too far ahead of me. They stayed that way for what seemed like forever, I just couldn't get going on the bike! Finally, I passed them towards the end before almost getting hit by a car and having a head-on collision with a few age groupers. My time was 1 min slower from last year. It was a bit windy on one stretch, but my bike is a direct product of time and mileage. Both have been very low this year, so for what it was, I was happy with my bike today. This time I transitioned smoothly and was out on the run.

I felt good on the run. I pushed it hard and passed a couple of people. I could see some people futher ahead but just couldn't get there. Again, I was almost 1 min slower from last year. My top end speed just isn't there right now. I still managed a 19:08 split which is pretty good for a 5k off the bike, and I really can't complain. I know if I hadn't missed all that time because of the injury and had been able to run and continue my workouts through that time I could've been much faster.

I finished as the 4th female and absolutely did the best I could on the day. That is something my parents instilled in me at a young age ("Do the best you can and be happy with it"), and they both even reiterated it yesterday when I spoke with them after the race. I am very happy that I was able to comeback from not running for almost 8 weeks and manage to compete so well with the other elites.

But I have to admit that there is that little voice in the back of my head that I've been trying to squash all weekend. The voice that says, "but you're capable of going so much faster!" Sure, aren't we all? If only I had this, or that, or had this much time, or was prettier, stronger, richer, whatever! Of course I can go faster and have gone faster, but I have to be happy with the present. With the now. And I did the best I could yesterday. So I will continue to squash that little voice and be content with how it all went.

So what's next? Well, I'm not ready for a break. I guess because I already had that long impromptu one. Marty is going to run the Philadelphia Marathon so I think I will run the 1/2 marathon and try to get a better p.r. (mine is from my split at the White Lake Half). I think it will be fun to concentrate on running for a bit. I'll continue going to Master's practice because it's a lot of fun, and will still ride my bike as long as the light holds out.

Oh yeah, the rest of the weekend was SO FUN!! Some more friends came over to the beach house after the race and we hung out and ate pizza and downed a bunch of beer. Then later on the 4 of us met some girls from Master's out in downtown Wilmington for a nice dinner and then off to a bar and later into a dance club! We were all booty shaking with the best of them - OH MY! )

Saturday, September 20, 2008

quick rr

No computer, this is from my phone! 4th overall, good swim, good run, ok bike, fun race! Now a beach weekend!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Last Tri!

Tonight I need to pack for my last triathlon of the season, the Wilmington YMCA triathlon (even though it's in Wrightsville Beach...). It's an odd 'sprint' - 1500 meter swim (with a current), 12 mile bike, 5K run, all very flat. Last year after doing this race, I swore I wouldn't do it again because the bike has a ton of potholes and the run is boring and mostly on a sidewalk. But after my very abbreviated season, I quickly decided I wanted IN! It's going to be a very competitive race and I'm looking forward to it. The race also starts early, at 7am, which means it will barely be sunrise. Nothing like swimming in the ocean at dawn! (i.e. shark feeding time, hee hee). Unfortunately, it doesn't look like a wetsuit is in the cards, so I guess I'm just going to have to swim my butt off without it.

Inside a 3.5 Year Old's Brain

My niece Ashleigh asked Marty to take a picture of her on his phone. She is a total ham.

Then she took a picture of Marty.

A little later my sister asked her is she knew Marty's name. She shook her head 'no' with a smile, so Heather told her, "That's Uncle Marty!" Ashleigh looked at her, then at him and said, "Uncle...Party!"

From the stories I've heard about Marty at FSU and as a lifeguard on the Jersey Shore, she is right on target! Uncle Party. Too funny.